Suspect charged with murder in Aaron Lowe shooting
SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges including aggravated murder against Buk M. Buk for the shooting of Aaron Lowe, a football player from the University of Utah.
Buk was charged in the Third District Court in Salt Lake City on four separate counts including aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, purchase, transfer, possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person, and obstruction of justice.
In a probable cause statement released by Salt Lake County DA Sim Gill cites statements gathered from more than 80 witnesses. Gill says they had to piece together what happened from witnesses who saw portions of the attack, adding that if someone had seen the shooting from beginning to end, that person hasn’t come forward.
The PC statement says Aaron Lowe got into an argument with a group of men who reportedly wouldn’t get out of the way when Lowe was trying to move his car. The female victim, Fuamoli Pomale, and another witness reportedly tried to calm everyone down, but Buk reportedly opened fire on Lowe and Pomale from across the street.
“[Witnesses say they saw] one person who had gone into the garage and, from another person, had gotten a gun, comes out, then walks up to Aaron and Moli and fires the weapon.”
Prosecutors say Buk was in a detached garage during the argument, but he reached into someone else’s bag and pulled out the weapon. Buk allegedly fired two shots within seconds of getting the gun. After that, Buk is accused of approaching Lowe and Pomale as they were on the ground, and cell phone video recorded the sound of five more shots.
Pomale was shot in the neck and chest and was injured so badly, she wasn’t able to speak with investigators. Instead, she used non-verbal communication when she could, and texted out more details on her phone.
The PC statement says, “Pomale said there were a bunch of shots fired, and the shooter came to ‘finish them off’ after she and Lowe had fallen to the ground.”
At first, Buk reportedly denied he was even at the party.
Gill says, “We have multiple witnesses and other evidence that connects him to that.”
Gill says there are several factors that raise this shooting to the level of aggravated murder, which qualifies for the death penalty under state law.
“Certainly, there’s the fact that he tried to, allegedly, kill multiple people. There’s the fact that he was convicted of a violent felony, previously,” he says.
He isn’t commenting on whether more people could face charges from this shooting, specifically the person who brought the gun to the party.
He says, “We don’t know where we’re going to end up, but, what I can say is that we’ve charged the person that we feel comfortable charging, at this point.”
In documents released on Wednesday, the DA’s office said medical examiners recovered four bullets from Lowe’s body and identified 19 injuries caused by those bullets.
Buk was arrested in Draper on October 3, but the murder weapon has not yet been found. Gill’s office has requested that Buk be held without bail.
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